Reviewed in 2012 by Tibe

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Geese, not yet perfectly dead!

by Tibe (2012)

For the seventh release of the legendary Fatal Fury series, SNK decided to make a dream match again, as in the previous opus (Real Bout Special), but also in The King of Fighters 98, released this year too: a meeting between the protagonists of the series, without story, just for fun! The editor has taken back the twenty characters present in the last episode, and simply adds two newcomers: Xiang Fei, a  Kung-Fu expert girl a little eccentric, and Rick Strowd, an Indian boxer, quite classy. Many fighters have been slightly restyled since RBS, some even have new moves and combos (Terry, Mary, Kim, Tung, etc ...) About the realization, the least we can say is that we feel the 539 Mb shock! All the stages are new, keeping the colorful and detailed RBS style. Character's portraits were also renewed, our heroes now having a more serious attitude, or even nasty for some. 

A cool new graphic effect now triggers when you perform a fury, and the overall design of the game was improved in menus and intermediary screens. Animation was slightly enhanced to better match with of the newcomers: very slightly more fluid, flexible and decomposed. This chapter was already a success in Real Bout Special, and Real Bout 2 doesn't fail to the rule. Those games are like twins: overall they're very similar, but their atmospheres are different. Note that music and sound effects have little changed since RBS, but the tone is less smooth and less glamorous, inspiring more brute violence. An easy to learn, but deep gameplay, giving the will to improve, featuring a generous timing, massive combos and spectacular visual effects. All this make the Real Bout series popular VS fighting games, in which each player can perform. Beginners can easily execute most of the special moves without much practice, while the technicians still have access to more opportunities with experience, and shall play advanced characters, packing more technical gameplay (Geese, Duck, Xiang Fei, Mary, Krauser ...). 

The second game plane isn't used like in Real Bout Special, and it's possibly the biggest difference between the two games: now it's just an opportunity to dodge with D, counter an attack or return to the main plane: the two characters can't move around too much, as they can stay only a few seconds on it. In consequence the strategies of play vary slightly, with break shots, reversal or counters having more importance in this episode. We can now choose between one or two line battle, namely between the stages in which we can't dodge, and others in which the second plane is available. The two new characters, Rick and Xiang Fei, are very interesting to discover and prove to be technical characters, especially the girl.  Stylish, well designed and animated, they fit perfectly in the Fatal Fury universe. Twenty-two characters is fine, but again one can not help but compare it with RBS: it came with twenty fighters, plus four of them who could be played with their "EX" version, so as much additional opportunities. 

RB2 catching the blow with a greater range of moves to all veterans, and new combos too. Bosses of the game are Geese and Krauser, but you'll meet only one in a row when playing solo. As for the famous Alfred (playable thanks to a TIP) you'll have to clear the game without losing a single round, demonstrate first order technique, and win at least two fights by using Potential Power to finish the opponent. No wonder we compare RBS and RB2: gameplays are very similar in both installements: three buttons to hit, and D button to change plan/dodge; exactly the same roster, with two extra characters for RB2; life and power bars similar in appearance and function, about 80% same combos, almost identical timing and hitboxes... The designers still took the time to remake all the portraits, backgrounds and even some musics. We are really dealing with an alternate version of Real Bout Special here. So this is a premium VS fighting game more from SNK, both for its realization and for gameplay, but with few new features and an atmosphere a little more impersonal. 



Still awesome, with successful brand new backgrounds. 
Newcomers have an awesome animation, while ancient characters have been slightly improved.
Less groovy and sexy than in RBS, but take it easy, it's still top-notch.
There's 22 characters + Alfred to unlock, plus the new moves, mechanics and combos.
Smooth, easy to learn and fun... Among noticeable changes, second plan now is now only used for dodges.



Few improvements since 1996 and RBS: the game gets two new fighters, but lost some of its ancestor's soul.


Expensive, but good. Between 120 and 150 euros depending on the condition for a JP AES. RB2 is a reference of the Fatal Fury series: However, if you have to choose, pick Real Bout Special. It's less than 100 euros for almost the same roster, and an even better atmosphere!

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